Articles: Press Release
America's Top Equestrians Return to Harrisburg October 12-21 for the
55th Annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show
Stephanie Shertzer Lawson
(717) 898-5874 (717) 898-1458 fax
The Pennsylvania National Horse show, one of Pennsylvania's premier
sporting events and America's largest indoor all-breed horse show, will hold
its 55th annual ten-day competition October 12-21, 2000. Since its inception
in 1945, the event, held at Harrisburg's State Farm Show Arena, has raised
more than $1.4 million for youth literacy, educational and recreational
programs through the Harrisburg Kiwanis Youth Foundation.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of hunter, jumper and equitation riders
across the US compete year-long for an invitation to join the best of the
best at "The Show Of Champions" in Harrisburg. The Pennsylvania National
Horse Show is a celebration of horse sports, featuring more than 1,400 of
America's top horses and riders, unique entertainment, shopping, food and
Eight national championships are decided at the PNHS. The American Horse
Shows Association/Black Entertainment Television National Junior Jumper
Championship, held Saturday night, October 14, is one of only three USA
Junior Olympics-Equestrian events, and features America's top under-18 jumper
riders. More than 200 young riders culminate a year of competition on
Sunday, October 15, as they vie for the American Horse Shows
Association/Eisers & Pessoa National Hunter Seat Equitation Medal
Championship--one of the few events where the rider, rather than the horse,
Many of the young national champions go on to represent the US in
international and Olympic Grand Prix competition of the type featured at the
PNHS nightly Tuesday, October 17 through closing Saturday, October 21.
Spectators thrill to America's best Grand Prix jumper riders, including
Olympic competitors, striving to win more than $115,000 in prize money by
clearing jumps up to five feet high and six feet wide.
A week of varied equestrian competition begins Monday, October 16, with
Hunt Night, an evening of friendly rivalry for the mid-Atlantic's top
foxhunting clubs. For nearly 150 years, foxhunting has remained a
strong tradition in Pennsylvania, home to more hunts than any other state
except Virginia. Teams and individuals test their hunting skills over
fences, in the North American Fox Hunting Horn Blowing Championships, and in
races over fences for feisty and adorable Jack Russell terriers. Author Rita
Mae Brown, a foxhunting enthusiast, is expected to make an appearance during
Spectators will be treated to an amazing variety of equestrian
athleticism. High-flying Grand Prix jumpers, fiery, high-stepping American
Saddlebreds and their tiny Hackney pony cousins, thundering draft horses in
hitches of one to six, easy-going western pleasure horses, and roadster
horses and ponies who race around the ring at top speed take turns delighting
and entertaining the audience. The $50,000 Budweiser Grand Prix de Penn
National, the show's richest and most prestigious event held Saturday night,
October 21, will be taped for broadcast on ESPN (the broadcast is scheduled
for Sunday, November 12 at 6 pm).
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police will present their Musical Ride at the
Pennsylvania National Thursday through Sunday nights, October 19-21, their
first appearance at the show since 1982. The troupe of 32 horses and riders,
with the support of founding sponsor Canadian Pacific, will perform a variety
of cavalry drills and intricate formations at the trot and canter, all
choreographed to music.
"The Sport of Kings" will thrill spectators as teams from Harrisburg and
Lancaster play a heart-pounding chukker of fast-paced arena polo, Wednesday
night, October 18. Always a crowd favorite, Jack Russell terriers race over
fences Monday and Friday nights, October 16 and 20. World Champion Rocky Dare
will present a demonstration of reining, the newest equestrian sport to be
sanctioned by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI).
Special family days at the horse show are Saturday, October 14 and Friday
night, October 20. On both days, when competition and events are geared to
kids, children will enjoy free pony rides and face painting. On Saturday,
October 14, one child under age 12 is admitted free with a paying adult.
An invitational class for local therapeutic riders will be held Tuesday
night, October 17. Horse babies one year old and younger will be showcased
in a futurity for young American Saddlebred horses Saturday afternoon,
October 21. The Valley Forge Military Academy & College Band will appear at
the horse show on Saturday night, October 21, as it has done for the last 52
More than fifty boutiques travel from Palm Beach, Aspen and points in
between to display their jewelry, crafts, clothing, gifts and horse equipment
and give spectators an early start on their Christmas shopping.
The show begins about 8 am daily, and runs until about 8:30 pm October
12, 6 pm October 15, and until about 11 pm October 13, 14 and 16 to 21.
General admission is $10, $5 for seniors and children ages 12 and under,
except October 21, when all general admission tickets are $10. Reserved
seating is available Grand Prix Night, Saturday, October 21; prices range
from $15 to $25. All performance passes with reserved seating October 21 are
$100. For more information or a free brochure, phone (717) 975-3677.
Photos, press kits and press passes are available.